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Weeding without Chemicals
Recently I came across this autonomous robot which removes weeds with concentrated light. Apparently it effectively fights weeds up to 1 mm in size thanks to an “AI” weed detection technology.
Its concentrated light technology requires no soil tillage and thus prevents root damage. With 100% solar operation, the robot is able to work day and night in different terrains, weather conditions and completely autonomously.
Several years ago I purchased a smaller version for our private garden, the Tertill:
It wasn’t as AI powered as the Earth Rover, but it did a fine job reducing our work load on the newly planted vegetable garden!
Using autonomous robots to deal with weeds and reduce the need for chemicals and heavy machinery isn’t new. In 2017, The Small Robot Company, a startup from the South of England, launched three robots — named Tom, Dick and Harry — to find and zap weeds with electricity before planting seeds in the cleared soil. With it, farmers could reduce costs by 40% and chemical usage by up to 95%.
If you’re like me and are thinking deeply about how to grow your own food in future, you should take a look at FarmBot. It’s by far the most professional solution I’ve seen thus far which can still quite easily be operated for private food production:
It’s also very comprehensive and has a garden planning tool etc. as part of the package.
The AquaShield crowd sourced campaign on Kickstarter was also an interesting project for hydrophonic but, sadly their 2.0 version product launch of the AquaShield 2.0 has stalled and it’s currently not clear, if or when it will finally see the light of day:
I liked their approach as it was highly customizable and could be used both for indoor growth of herbs and vegetables as well as for outdoor gardens.
What’s your plan when you think about the future? Are you going to trust the food industry at large with what you can buy in the super markets, or, are you thinking about growing food yourself with smart technology?